Monday, 6 June 2016

Freshwater crocodile and Thorne Village

The cook gave us a couple of photos of yesterdays BBQ  .

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The water tap at Long Sandall Lock is very slow, but that gave us time to dispose of our rubbish and watch the contractor service the pump out station which is situated in the lock.  He had a gauge and was testing the pump vacuum pressure.  Yes, boaters are usually fascinated with toilets!

There’s an interesting church near Kirk Sandall.  It’s had numerous additions over the years and the original (traditional part) was almost totally obscured by the newer additions.

IMG_9989Shortly thereafter we came upon one of those English fresh water crocodiles.  They certainly grow larger around this part of the network.

P1020772No doubt we will see even larger when we reach the River Trent.  Smile

Jan had the pleasure (and power) of stopping the traffic at Barnby Dun Lift Bridge before reaching Bramwith Junction where we turned right and headed towards Keadby and the Trent.  This is new water for us.

IMG_9990To the left are the large guillotine flood gates protecting the navigation from the River Don whilst to the right is Bramwith Lock which is manually operated.  We cruised on passing Stainforth where the pub appears to be very popular with boaters.

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So far most of the navigation passes through tranquil countryside with lush trees on the banks.  It’s a significant contrast to the old photos from the book loaned to me by Paul in Sheffield.  There were no trees on the banks and the landscape looked rather grim.  I recall Keith (nb Hadar) telling me the canal companies didn’t want trees.  Their leaves silted up the canal and increased dredging costs.

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We were delayed for 10 minutes by a tug positioning a large barge into a dry dock on the western outskirts of Thorne.   The tug crew had been required to move the blue wide beam to fit the barge into the dry dock approach.

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Thorne lock proved to be very interesting as it has a swing bridge on the western end.  The bridge is manual but the lock is electric.  The two are electrically interlocked and you have to ensure the lock is full and the top gates open before the bridge can be moved.

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The last bridge for the day was the Princess Royal pedestrian swing bridge.  All the moorings on the far side of the bridge appeared to occupied and as we reached them the crew of the end boat called out they would follow us.  Obviously they thought we were continuing on!  Instead we opted to take their spot. 

We’d been told by a local in Doncaster that Thorne was a very attractive village and I did ask the lady on the departing boat whether that was correct.  She looked very surprised.  After walking around Thorne I can only assume the lady in Doncaster has an unusual sense of humour.  

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